“Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.” (Revelation 3:11)
Because of the “hour of temptation” Jesus gives the warning: “hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.” Man has not finished his selfish dirty work of robbery: “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy” (John 10:10) Jesus instructs them to “hold that fast which thou hast”. Philadelphia had great spiritual light on: salvation, sanctification, true unity, Bible love, the true church, and the judgements against false religion. This understanding and experience is the “crown” that men would like to rob the church of.
In Revelation 12:1 we have revealed to us a spiritual picture of the true church of God, and the crown she has:
“And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars. And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered. And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.” (Revelation 12:1-4)
This pure picture of the church shows she is clothed in the light of the New Testament, the light of Jesus Christ. (See also Revelation 21:1-11) She has the moon under he feet for a place to stand. The moon is a reflection of the true light of the sun (not as bright, yet a light in the darkness of night – or the Old Testament.) The Old Testament gives us a light that actually foreshadows the true light: Jesus Christ. On her head is a crown of twelve stars. Remember from Revelation chapter one that Jesus tells us that the stars represent the angel-messengers to the church. The twelve stars represent the teachings the church is crowned with because of the twelve apostles of the Lamb that were sent by Jesus and taught us of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
But now Jesus is warning us “hold fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.” So in Revelation 12 we see Satan’s powers working through people represented in the form of a dragon, ready to devour those who have been saved – even as soon as they are spiritually born. We must be on guard and resist the temptations of sin, false teachings and the pressures of religious minded people, lest they re-blind us of the truth, and completely rob us of our eternal reward for staying true and faithful:
- “The simple inherit folly: but the prudent are crowned with knowledge.” (Proverbs 14:18)
- “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.” (James 1:12)
But remember, Jesus warned “Behold, I come quickly” therefore don’t let down and be robbed of your crown, which represents your reward! “And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.” (Revelation 22:12)
“Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.” (1 Peter 5:2-4)
“I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.” (2 Timothy 4:7-8)
The church has a “crown of twelve stars” (see Revelation 12:1 above) which represents the pure truths that the Apostles of the Lamb originally delivered to us concerning Christ and his plan. May we earnestly “hold fast” to these pure truths, without the mixture of false teachings, so that no man can rob us of our crown and our eternal reward!